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After all, if Rauhouse wants to get creative, he can do that on his own time, making records as full of surprises as Steel Guitar Heart Attack. The album takes its title from a heart attack he narrowly avoided while cutting The Tigers Have Spoken with Case in Toronto.
"The last night of the live recording, I started getting these weird, bizarro chest pains," he recalls. They stopped off in Chicago on the way home, where a doctor friend performed an EKG and sent him packing to the hospital to have a stent inserted in his heart after finding a 98 percent blockage in one of his arteries.
"I missed having a heart attack by about two seconds," Rauhouse says. "So I was really lucky. But I had to change my eating habits and all that crap. I'm doing good, but it was scary for a while because I was just plugging along like always and, all of a sudden, it was, like, 'Hey, something's really wrong."
That health scare changed the way he looks at life. "I definitely feel like I don't need to waste any time doing a bunch of stuff I don't want to do," he says. "It helped me figure that out, that oh, yeah, this could all go away. I don't want to be morbid and stupid, but you could die any second and if there is a pearly gates and someone asks me, 'What were you doing when you died?' I wouldn't want to tell them, 'Well, jeez, I was watching a Richard Gere movie' or something. I want to be able to tell them, 'I was playing music, having a blast.'"